Page images

went on to take his turn he found Galaor on foot, with his sword in hand defying the Knight to battle, but the Knight laughed at him ; and Amadis said, brother, do not chase yourself; it was the covenant that there should be no sword-battle. Then he bade the stranger defend himself, and they ran at each other : their spears flew up in splinters; they came against each other, shield, and helmet; the horse fell with Amadis, and the horse broke his shoulder; the Knight of the forest was dismounted, but he held the reins, and lightly took the saddle again. Quoth Amadis, you must joust again, for this encounter was equal, we both fell. I do not chuse to joust again, said he. Amadis replied, Knight, you do me wrong. Right yourself when you can said the other : I am bound no farther, as I sent to tell you ! and then he gallopped away through the forest.

Amadis leapt upon Gandalin's horse, and told his companions to follow him as fast as they could to find that Knight, for they were all greatly abashed. Quoth the Damsel, it will be a foolish quest: all the Knights of King Lisuarte's household would fail to find him without a guide. My friend, said Galaor, belike you know who he is, and where to be found 2 If I do, quoth she, I mean not to tell you, for I would bring no harm to so good a man. Ah, Damsel, said Galaor, by the faith you owe to God, and by the thing in the world which you love best, tell me what you know of him. She answered, I care not for these conjurings, and will not discover him for nothing. Ask what you will, quoth Amadis.-Tell me your name, and promise me each a boon hereafter, when I shall demand it. They in their earnestness promised. When she heard the name of Amadis, she exclaimed, God be praised, for I was seeking you!—And wherefore ?—You shall know when it is time ; but tell me, have you forgot your promise to the daughter of the King of Sobradisa, who let loose the lions to save you ? I am now going, replied Amadis, to perform the battle. Why then, quoth she, would you turn astray to follow this Knight, who is not so easy to find as you imagine, when your day is appointed for the combat She says true, Sir brother, said Galaor: go you with Agrayes upon this business; I will follow the Knight with this Damsel, for I shall never have joy till I find him, and I will join you in time for the battle if it be possible. In God's name ! cried Amadis, but tell us, Damsel, the name of the Knight.—I know it not, yet once I was a month with him and saw never else such deeds of arms ; but I can

show where he is to be found. Then Galaor departed with her,

Amadis and Agrayes proceeded till they came to the castle of Torin, the dwelling of that fair young Damsel, who was now grown so beautiful that she appeared like a bright star. What think you of her said Amadis. Agrayes answered, if her Maker designed to make her beautiful, he has most perfectly accomplished his will. They were disarmed, and mantles given them, and they were conducted into the hall. But when Briolania saw Amadis how young he was, for he was not twenty, and how beautiful, for even the scars in his face became him, and of what fair renown he was, she thought him the best Knight in the world, and greatly affected him; so that when by his help she had recovered her kingdom, she would have given him herself and that, but Amadis told her right loyally how he was another's.


Four days Galaor rode with the Damsel, and so wrathful was he for this fall that whatever Knight encountered him in that time felt the effects, and many were slain for the act of another. At length they saw a fair fortress, built above a vale ; the Damsel told him there was no other place near where he could lodge that night, and they made up to it. At the gate they found many men and Dames and Damsels, so that it seemed to be the house of a good man, and among them was a Knight of seventy years, with a cloak of scarlet skin, who courteously bade him welcome. Sir, quoth Galaor, you welcome us so well, that, tho' we found another host, we would not leave your hospitality. Then were they led into a hall, and supper was given them right honourably ; and, when the cloths were removed, the old Knight went to Galaor and asked him if the Damsel was to be his bedfellow. He replied, no; and two Damsels then conducted her to her chamber, while he was shewn a rich bed for himself. Here rest yourself, said his host: God knows the pleasure I have in entertaining you, and all Errant Knights, for I myself have been one, and have two sons who are the like, but both now are badly wounded, for there came by a Knight who dismounted them both, and they greatly ashamed of their foil rode after him, and came up to him by a river as he was about to cross it in a boat; and they would have made him do battle with the sword, since they knew how he could joust. The Knight, who was in haste, would have declined the battle, but my sons prevented him from entering the boat. A Lady who was in the boat then said to them, that they were discourteous in detaining her Knight against her will; but they said, he must needs do battle. Let it be, then, said the Lady, that he shall fight with the better of you twain, and if he conquer him that shall suffice. Not so, they answered; if one failed, the other would prove his fortune. The Knight then grew angry, and cried, come both, since you will not let me proceed and one after the other he sent them from their horses, utterly confounded ; then crossed the river and went his way. I went afterwards to bring home

« PreviousContinue »